Knock Knock. Who's there? Bean. Bean who? Bean awhile since my last post.
By now you know my story: July 2009, 8000 km road trip, 3 generations, 1 van. I took along 10 cameras and 40 rolls of film. We passed through 10 American states and 3 Canadian provinces, and we did a lot of walking in Chicago…
“The Bean” seemed to grow as we got closer and closer. It seemed a little unreal. It IS a little unreal. A massive, smooth, brilliant, completely seem less and reflective, round, bean. We all slowed down as we got close enough to realize how big it actually was…all of us but the kids that is; they ran right up to it with their naturally oily fingers to leave their mark.
Wikipedia tells me that it’s made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, with a highly polished exterior that has no visible seams, 33 feet by 66 feet by 42 feet (10 m × 20 m × 13 m), and weighs 110 tons. My kids however; tell me that it’s made up of Wow and Cool and Awesome. I’ve always been suspicious of Wikipedia, but my kids are pretty honest.
People of Chicago are pretty proud of how awesome some parts of their city are. This is one of those parts. My evidence? There is a lady whose full time job appears to be wiping off finger prints. Sound like a crappy job? Yes. Was she smiling the whole time? Yes. Why? Because she knows how awesome this thing is, and she’d proud to play a small part.
But, what is the purpose of this massive bean? I am certain that it’s only purpose is to make you smile. You walk up to it, slowly at first, and you look at your self looking back at yourself, and you smile. Then you walk underneath and say something, and you listen to the echo of you talking back to yourself, and you smile. Then you take a bunch of pictures, while you’re smiling, of other people, smiling. Seems pretty simple. :)
The bean is in a big park (Millennium Park) which happens to be full of other cool sculptures and public art, and which also happens to be in an even bigger park (Grant Park) that has even more really cool stuff.
Go there, take all your cameras, and go for a long walk.
The actual name of this sculpture is Cloud Gate, but seriously, it does look like a bean.